NRI professor in US used ‘students as servants’

Colombo: An Indian-origin professor in the US compelled his students to act as his personal servants, a daily said. The Kansas City Star daily in a report on Sunday said that it had found that over professor Ashim Mitra’s 24 years as a leader in the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy, his students hauled equipment and bused tables at his social events.

They were expected to tend his lawn, look after his dog and water the house plants, sometimes for weeks at a time when he and his wife were away. The claims were made by nearly a dozen of Mitra’s former students. Former Indian student Kamesh Kuchimanchi told the newspaper that he considered his life at UMKC as “nothing more than modern slavery”.

“Slavery” to Kuchimanchi meant bailing putrid water from Mitra’s basement after a flood and serving food at the professor’s Indian cultural celebrations off campus. The students’ complaints were corroborated by Mitra’s former colleagues, who told the daily that they saw the students performing menial tasks off campus or heard their complaints.

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